A.S. Faces Runs Marathons With Christine Shubin Face 245

I am a half marathoner – with AS.  Some fellow runners have encouraged me to continue to “outrun my disease”.  I am doing my best and running has been a positive in my life as it’s helped put me and keep me in a “remission” stage where I have very few flare ups and very little damage progression from my original diagnosis.

I started slow but started running about 1 1/2 years ago.  In March of 2011 I ran my first 5K and was hooked on the “runner’s high” after crossing the finish line and set my sights higher – a half marathon.  After a few false starts I finally completed my goal on May 6, 2012 and ran in the OC Marathon.  That hooked me even more and I decided to become a half marathoner.  In my area we have a Beach Cities Challenge where you complete 3 of the Beach Cities Marathons in consecutive order and earn a 4th medal for completing the challenge.  OC being one of them, I signed up for the other 2 races and I’m on my way to completing the challenge.  I recently ran the 2nd race of the challenge by running in the Long Beach International Marathon on October 7, 2012.  I will complete the challenge on February 3, 2013 when I finish the Surf City Huntington Beach Marathon where I will receive my Challenge medal along with the Surf City finishers medal that day.

Mixed in with these 3 was a race that was on my bucket list – the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco.  Done by lottery I didn’t make it in last year.  They only take 20,000 women and over 40,000 sign up (with more and more added each year).  Chances are about 1 in 3 to get in and this year would be my 2nd year to try.  About a week after I signed up for the Long Beach International Marathon I got a congratulations letter – I made it into the NWM 2012!  I was so excited but this also meant i’d be doing back to backs.  In 7 days I would be running 2 half marathons in 2 cities separated by hundreds of miles.  One in Southern California and one in Northern California. I’m glad to say that I did it and I had a blast doing both races and even got a new personal best time in San Francisco – even with the hills!  The Tiffany and Company Finishers necklace is quite a nice perk at the Nike race as well.

In between these half marathons I’ve done several 5K races which are just plain fast and fun to do.  One race had you running the last 1/4 mile in waist deep water – it’s called the Wet N’ Wild 5k for a reason.  I’ve done a Mud Run.  The Beach Bash 5k which is an obstacle course in the sand.

What’s next on my bucket list?  I’d like to do one of the Disney Half Marathons and do some fun 5k’s going into the next run season – The Color Run, Run For Your Lives 5k (an obstacle course with Zombies chasing you), the Beach Bash obstacle course in the sand again.  I would like to do the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco again.  I have a friend who wants me to train her to do a half marathon so i’ll be doing one with her.  Lots of races ahead.

I prove to myself every time I lace up my running shoes and hit the street or trail or treadmill that I am not my disease and I refuse to let my disease define who I am.  I am a runner.  I am a half marathoner. Taken from the Nike Marathon I:  Run Fearless.  Run Hard.  Run Happy.   I have AS.  AS doesn’t have me.

Christine Shubin Face 0245


9 Responses to “A.S. Faces Runs Marathons With Christine Shubin Face 245”

  1. I love your story and can relate. I am also a runner and refuse to let my disease define me. I recently completed my first half-marathon and hope to complete a full marathon in the next three years. Like yourself, running has kept me in a state of remission. I love the runners high and always look forward to the next challenge. I commend your progress and I’m inspired by your accomplishments!

    Jason – Face 559

  2. Jason – so glad to connect with another runner with this disease. Not to many of us I believe. I am looking into doing a sprint triathalon in addition to more fun races. Gotta mix it up!

    Good luck with your running as well. I don’t know if i’ll ever attempt a full. I’m afraid the training beforehand will break my body down and it will be hard to pick it back up. For now the half gives me enough training to be a challenge but not so much it defeats my body. I will have to see over time how I progress in training and if it might be a do-able thing.

  3. Hi Christine, I have AS and I’ve been running intermittently for about 5 years now – before I was on the elliptical or stairs or swimming or other forms of exercise, but I’ve always been active. Running makes me feel the most accomplished though, so I’ve stuck with it.

    I’m having a tough time with my flare ups – they really seem to set me back for a week, two weeks, three weeks at a time. Do you have any advice regarding getting through those flare ups? I noticed you had some “false starts” in your training – did you notice anything that made those flares less severe or frequent? Do you have a training program that you recommend that progresses slow enough? Did you do any run/walk kind of training?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give. You’re very inspirational!

  4. Hi Christine, I have AS and I’ve been running intermittently for about 5 years now – before I was on the elliptical or stairs or swimming or other forms of exercise, but I’ve always been active. Running makes me feel the most accomplished though, so I’ve stuck with it.

    I’m having a tough time with my flare ups – they really seem to set me back for a week, two weeks, three weeks at a time. Do you have any advice regarding getting through those flare ups? I noticed you had some “false starts” in your training – did you notice anything that made those flares less severe or frequent? Do you have a training program that you recommend that progresses slow enough? Did you do any run/walk kind of training?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give. You’re very inspirational!

    • Hi Kate –

      Sorry it took a couple of days to get back to you. I was volunteering at the RunDisney 1/2 marathon the last couple of days and it was very busy!

      I’d be glad to share with you. Can you email me at javabliss@hotmail.com instead? It could get kind of lengthy to answer here.

  5. Good morning, my name is Tony and i am 43 years old and I have had A.S. since the age of 26 and it has totally changed my life. i used to play football in college and i also serving in the U.S. Army. After battling pain for years i finally went to hospital and that became a two week stay. Well long story but i just got inspired to start running again and i will start my own 5k run to help people with Ankylosing Spondylitis. My goal is to raise 1 million dollars to help other that suffer. Believe me when i say we can do it. Keep my name around and in one year you will say what happen to the crazy guy that said he can raise 1 Million in a year.

  6. Christine —

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was diagnosed 12 years ago and am absolutely convinced that physical activity and a positive attitude works wonders for helping control this disease. Your story has only strengthened this belief. I’m pretty active and recently ran my first marathon and intend on doing half marathons on a regular basis. My doctor says my disease has progressed very little over the last 12 years and I actually feel so much better today than when I was first diagnosed.

    I hope you continue to inspire others with your story.

    Gratefully,

    Anthony

  7. Hi, Christine,

    I’ve been reading about people who have As, like me, and continue to run. I was in the Army and had been fiercely athletic until I started to have flare ups that put me down for days. I lost that motivation to run because of the pain. I’ve made a promise to myself that I will run again. Do you have any advice for a “beginner runner with AS”?
    Amanda – Face 1555

    • I just went slow, found a good base building program and kept at it. Even when I was flaring I still went. I haven’t had a flare now for going on 4-5 years. My Sed rates are low – around 5-6mm/hr and stay there. The activity is keeping the inflammatiion in check.

      Get fitted for a good cushioned supportive shoe. If you are a neutral I recommend Hoka Clifton 3’s, Mizuno Wave Rider, Brooks Ghost. If you are a stability Asics Kayano’s are one of the best. Proper shoes are important – start there. You should have a good local running store somewhere.

      I work closely with my rheumatologist, I make sure to take Zyflammend Whole Body(a natural anti-inflammatory supplement – Amazon.com) and I strength train as well.

      I think the key is to just go slow. Not everyone can and will react the same as me with this disease but I found that being active like this has improved how I manage AS greatly.

      There’s a marathon book that has a really good base building program in it. It’s called The Non Runner’s Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett. Even if you don’t do half or full marathons (I’m now running fulls) the base building guide is one of the best i’ve seen.

      Good luck. I hope you are able to get up and get back to running and I truly hope you find it helps

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